Posts tagged: dangerous water

Turning Dangerous Water Safe

Turning Dangerous Water Safe

A less talked about subject when it comes to survival is hygiene. Sure, we share a lot of information on resources, strategies, and mindset, but this is kinda awkward. Yet there are so many types of short-term disasters that can create problems with power or running water, and thus with hygiene. Running water is essential for the functioning of your toilet, not to mention showering or bathing. If the power goes out, your water heater won’t work and you won’t have hot water to do the dishes or even wash your hands.

These are usually things we take for granted, imagine what a problem would be not to have them. Ideally, you should have a home with its own septic system and maybe a source of alternative energy, solar or wind. That will make you invulnerable to these kind of disasters. If you can’t have that, then maybe your relatives or friends do and you can stay with them. If this doesn’t work either, then this series of articles is for you.

Let’s think of a scenario where you ran out of water or power and analyze your options. Luckily, you won’t be needing electricity for a regular toilet plumbing; that only requires water and gravity. But water – you will need a lot of that. Every flush requires a couple of gallons. It doesn’t have to be drinkable water, but you would need 5 gallons daily. Newer toilets might use less water for flushing but think of this as a safe number.

So basically, besides storing water for drinking and the purification system you want to use, you will have to think of the non-potable water you need. You can get it from the rain if you are allowed to do that where you live. For this you will need special systems from the shop that collect water from rain gutters in very large barrels of 50 gallons. 2 of these barrels will gather enough water for 20 flushes.

If you have a swimming pool or you have access to one, you can use the water in there. If not, then invest in a few extra large storage containers that you place outside, just in case. Be sure to calculate exactly how much water you would need for say, a month.


Home-Made-Water-Filtration-System-300x256Another method you could use for purifying water is by filtering it. Commercial filters are easy to find and come in all shapes and sizes. The variety of filters on the market will satisfy any budget. A filter will push the water through a tube of charcoal or of ceramic removing its impurities, and it will chemically treat it. The filtering is done through 2 hoses, one of them with a float that connects the unfiltered water recipient with the filter and the second one that connects the filter with the filtered water recipient. The most important thing to remember when using this method is to keep the hoses clean at all time, so they don’t contaminate the water.

The advantage of water filters is that water doesn’t taste weird afterwards. Basically, filters can remove any type of impurity, even dirt. However, it takes a bit of maintenance to do it, as the filters get clogged with the tannins that are removed. Eventually, they need to be replaced, so keep that in mind.

Primitive Methods of Filtering Water

If you are a survivalist and you are interested in methods that will go anywhere and that don’t require preparation, there are some solutions. One of them is using soil or better yet, sand to filter the water. If you repeat the process a few times, you will see the water becomes clear. You can also dig a hole close to the water source and use it to filter the water through it.

Keep in mind that although the water will be clear, the germs will still be there. Even spring water, which is usually considered safe, can be affected by different kinds of microorganisms.

Another primitive method is distillation, which helps you make the sea water or any salty water drinkable, by filtering the salt out. Dig water from the ground and put the recipient in the middle. Place a transparent plastic sheet in the recipient. To stabilize the plastic, place a rock in the middle. Cover the hole with the plastic and put some dirt on it. The plastic sheet will create the effect of a greenhouse, determining the water in the ground to evaporate when it reaches a higher temperature. The water will eventually drip into the recipient.

If you want to make salty water drinkable, then you should place a pot/can inside of a bigger pot. The salty water will only drip into the bigger pot. Place a curved lid backwards on the two pots. When it starts to boil, the fresh water will start flowing in drops into the small pot, without salt or minerals. A simpler method is to use a piece of cloth instead of the small pot; it will absorb the vapors.

Choose the method that suits you in the right situation; simple tricks can keep you in good health!